Y'all Been Checkin' Lumber Prices?

  
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Diggin It

Diggin It

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I see home mills the way many see firewood. The time, labor, skill, equipment, fuel, space required, etc. would not be worth it for most people. Then you have the question of being able to use it in building projects in places that have inspections and codes. And what about quality and consistency of dimensions? Is it too knotty? Will it warp, crack, split? Do you also have the surface planers and edge trimmers to make it look more finished?

If you quality timber in sufficient quantity and have the years of experience to be able to handle those things, fine. But for most of us, it wouldn't work out too well.
 

rockmalenfant

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the budworms where really bad in British Columbia Canada in the last few years as result they have flooded the market with export because the trees where going to die so they processes them. Now there reserve are depleted so they reduce production with the combination of increase demand from covid prices are going really high and will stay high for at least the next year.
 

s219

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I see home mills the way many see firewood. The time, labor, skill, equipment, fuel, space required, etc. would not be worth it for most people. Then you have the question of being able to use it in building projects in places that have inspections and codes. And what about quality and consistency of dimensions? Is it too knotty? Will it warp, crack, split? Do you also have the surface planers and edge trimmers to make it look more finished?

If you quality timber in sufficient quantity and have the years of experience to be able to handle those things, fine. But for most of us, it wouldn't work out too well.

This is an average piece of yellow pine that I saw for 2x lumber. Look at all those rings. Be lucky to get 3-5 rings in a store bought 2x. Tight grain like this will be much more stable and handle much higher bending stresses.

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One of the nicest surprises about milling my own lumber is how much better it is than what I can get at a store. They sell junk wood nowadays.

I do careful culling to avoid knots when they would be an issue for structural loads. My reject rate is probably around 5-10% including bad knots, warping, and other defects. I am a bit more liberal with bark on the corners as it rarely matters for framing carpentry.
 

arto98607

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Looks like you have some pretty slow growing & strong trees!
Are they slow growing due to a high elevation?

I am slowly getting rid of some fast growing no-good fir trees (so-called "piss firs") where the annual growth rings are as wide as my thumbnail.




Growth Rings3.jpg
 

plowhog

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I see home mills the way many see firewood. The time, labor, skill, equipment, fuel, space required, etc. would not be worth it for most people.
I am surrounded by people making firewood. Storms knock down limbs or trees, and the debris either becomes firewood-- or rots.

A month ago, I started up my first ever entry level sawmill. Very enjoyable. I've milled 1x6 planks for a wooden fence, 2x6x8 cedar boards for raised planters, 4x4, 4x6, and 6x8 posts for a new firewood woodshed, and the list goes on. I'm surprised how much learning is involved.

Years ago I bought a wood chipper. I like it since it converts "trash" to "treasure." (Downed limbs/brush become useable wood chips.) My new sawmill is doing the same but at a higher level.

So far, every log I milled was already down-- from storm damage, or from the utility company doing trimming. If I didn't mill the logs, I'd have to buck them up and saw them for burn piles, or leave them to rot. Using the sawmill does require some effort, but I'd estimate its about the same as bucking up a tree for burning. Except with the sawmill I get usable lumber at the end.
 

the viking

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Home milling is the only way to go for me now and for the last 40 years. Some 50+ 2x6x12' doug fir and some 1x12 x12 pine boards all cut last fall. Stickered and covered with metal for a slow dry. The grain is tight compared to commercially sold crap of today. I know from years of being a mill operator and builder what a good board is yet I would need a fresh out of school engineer to certify it? PFFFFFT!DSCN0354.JPGDSCN0356.JPGDSCN0357.JPG
 

dfkrug

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A month ago, I started up my first ever entry level sawmill. Very enjoyable. I've milled 1x6 planks for a wooden fence, 2x6x8 cedar boards for raised planters, 4x4, 4x6, and 6x8 posts for a new firewood woodshed, and the list goes on. I'm surprised how much learning is involved.
It has only been a few years since I have started milling logs, first with the HF bandsaw sawmill, then with a Granberg Alaskan Mill, and recently with a Lucas circular sawmill. As you said, there is a lot to be learned about cutting, log handling, wood storage, etc.

Before that, my log cutting was mostly for firewood, but I only burn 2.5 cords/year, and I have thousands of trees on 19 acres. My woodstove is the only legal way to burn wood in my county.
 

s219

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Looks like you have some pretty slow growing & strong trees!
Are they slow growing due to a high elevation?

We're only about 40' above sea level in Virginia, near the coast. The trees are about 30-35 years old. I figured they would have some big rings but that has not been the case except for a few trees, and only the center rings tend to be big. I guess they must grow fast at first and then slow way down.

There's also a lot of seasonal variation in the rings, some years they grew faster than other. I imagine I could trace that back to weather and rainfall/drought in those particular years, but I'm too busy sawing and using the wood to get into the science.
 

plowhog

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I took a picture of my "trash to treasure" setup tonight. I realize this is "small potatoes" compared to many. But I'm happy with it.

The wood chipper blows the chips into my dump truck and then I spread them; the sawmill makes the lumber. The log on the mill is cedar. It still has removal markings from the utility company. I still have about 15 more logs like this (mostly pine) and haven't yet cut a tree down.

This cedar is 24" at the butt, 20" at the narrow end. It would have gone to waste if I didn't mill it. Tomorrow it will become very nice lumber.

Note: 2nd pix is in next message. For some reason it would only accept 1 pix at a time.
 

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